NPR Radio has terminated Juan Williams, highly respected civil rights activist and NPR host, after comments he made on the O'Reilly Factor with Bill O'Reilly.
Juan Williams, "Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
To be fair, Williams argued against blaming all Muslims as "extremists," saying Christians shouldn't be blamed for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
I wholeheartedly agree with both comments, and it's rare that I agree with anything Mr. Williams has to say. I face this dilemna everyday of my life. When I sit down on a flight, after being puffed by the puffing machine, patted down by a burly invasive female security officer, and stared down by the mind readers, I immediately look around to see who looks like the real terrorist aboard. (For some reason Homeland Security has me on the "watch out for that extremist kook" list.) I'm proud to be poked and prodded like a prime heifer ready for slaughter. Why? Because it means someone is looking out the welfare of every passenger on that flight, and that includes my fine flanks.
So is it fair for NPR to terminate such a respected advocate for social justice just because he had the gumpta to speak what everyone else on that plane is thinking? I think not and NPR is playing scared. They have become so politically correct should they even be called NPR anymore? Do they represent the nation or not?
Juan Williams' comment referring to the Muslim's choice to identify himself and set himself apart is starkly accurate. My husband has family members that specifically try to make statements and defy someone to remark on their religious choice. They twist prayer beads on their rearview mirrors, attach them to their key rings, and keep a copy of "A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam", in their rear car window just in case someone missed the fourteen pounds of beads. They want an opportunity to fight for their religion.
I believe in the rights of all religions, if you want to pray to the praying mantis, I'll not take issue with it. So for the Muslims, I say pray away. But if you come on a flight dressed to 'blow up', with the look of jihad on your face, don't be offended by the comments you might elicit as you scare the bejesus out of some little old lady.